Outfielder combines skill, luck in batting

Rock Bridge’s Brandon Gerau uses his speed to maximize his good fortune.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:22 a.m. CDT, Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rock Bridge junior Brandon Gerau may be the luckiest guy on the Bruins’ baseball team. And he’s the first to admit it.

He got a triple and an inside-the-park home run in the same game when Mexico’s right fielder lost both balls in the sun.

When told that some Rock Bridge parents said Gerau should enter the lottery, he responded “I’d probably win.”

But Gerau is not just lucky. After all, it’s hard to bat .450 with four home runs and three triples if you are banking on luck.

“Brandon is a very good athlete,” coach Terry Whitney said. “He has a very good arm, is very fast, and hits with power. He is a very good defensive center fielder and is quite the leader on the field. He leads by the way he plays.”

Gerau is also a standout in football. As a wide receiver, he helped lead the Bruins to a 7-4 record and a playoff berth. He had 32 catches for 742 yards and four touchdowns. The 6-foot, 160-pound Gerau says he uses his quickness and 4.65 40-yard dash speed to get him open.

“I knew I would never be 6 feet, 4 inches tall or weigh 200 pounds,” Gerau said. “So I relied on my quickness and speed. I can get off the jam and into open space.”

Gerau’s teammates say his speed and athleticism are reasons he why he turned a simple error in right field into an inside-the-park home run, a play they say wouldn’t have happened if someone else were running the bases.

“Brandon is just so fast and aggressive,” junior Scott Thompson said. “What separates him from other people is that he is able to turn a single into a double. Every time he hits the ball he comes out of the box looking for a double. If the outfielder bobbles the ball at all, he’s going to make them pay by taking an extra bag.”

Gerau says that he hasn’t always been so lucky. He received the nickname “ace” while growing up, because he got injured a lot.

“When I was 12 or 13 I snapped the growth plate in my arm,” Gerau said. “I also pulled a hamstring in my left leg while running track in middle school. I pulled the hamstring in my right leg as soon as I recovered from that injury. Some of the injuries may have been due to my size.”

Gerau hopes to play college baseball or football after high school but for now is not looking past playing today at Jefferson City (13-2) .

“We need a solid game out of everyone to beat JC,” Gerau said. “Erik (Darkow) has to throw strikes, we have to play good D, and we have to put the ball in play. We’re going to have to make them make the mistakes.”

The superstitious Gerau says he will keep his routine for the Jays and hope that his luck does not change.

“We’ll be fine if we play to our capabilities,” Gerau said. “But it never hurts to make sure luck is on your side. I will never touch the foul line when I go out to the field, will always keep the TPX letters on my bat pointing towards the sky and will always wear my wrist band on the same spot of my left arm.

“The luck has worked so far, but if it changes against Jefferson City, I’ll throw out my old routines and figure something else out.”

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